San Mateo cloud giant expanding: Coupa Software moves from downtown to former Seibel building at 101/92 Crossroads

The Coupa sign is installed at the company’s new headquarters in San Mateo.

Raising $40 million in venture capital in March, expanding to more than 430 customers and employing nearly 250 people set the stage for Coupa Software to move into its new headquarters from downtown San Mateo to Siebel Systems’ former headquarters at the Crossroads of Highway 101 and State Route 92.

Founded in 2006, Coupa is a cloud-based procurement application that provides companies with a platform to do more than order operational equipment; it allows companies to analyze the way they do business, said Coupa CEO Rob Bernshteyn.

“One of the things we take the most pride in here, and I say this on behalf of a couple hundred employees … the pride comes in getting our customers to successful outcomes,” Bernshteyn said. “There’s been a lot of software sold over the years … most customers can never honestly say that they’ve gotten measurable, successful value out of that software. So for us, we’re actually really proud that we’re measuring the outcomes.”

Coupa’s application empowers businesses to be fiscally conscious by tracking how their employees purchase products essential to their jobs and, by directly linking buyers to suppliers, customers are able to leverage savings, Bernshteyn said.

Coupa’s client portfolio includes companies big and small such as Salesforce.com, Pandora, Michaels Arts and Crafts, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, P.F. Chang’s, Ross Dress for Less, Toyota North America and various hospital and banks.

With its list of customers and employees increasing, Coupa relocated May 5 from its two downtown San Mateo offices into a 26,200-square-foot building at 1855 S. Grant St., formerly the original Siebel Systems offices.

When the property opened up, Bernshteyn said he knew it was a perfect fit. Siebel was an innovator in helping companies leverage information technology to drive sales and there is still a lot of focus on how to target or market to shoppers. Coupa, however, is on the flip side and is helping buyers spend more wisely, Bernshteyn said.

When a hospital needs to order supplies like scrubs, beds, lab coats or medical equipment that requires specialty materials, Coupa provides information about which suppliers have what they need, Bernshteyn said.

For a company like Ross, when it needs toilet paper, marketing signs, clothing hangers or other products required for it to do business, it works through Coupa, Bernshteyn said.

Because Coupa works on a cloud system, customers don’t need to continually buy new software updates; they just pay an annual fee that includes maintenance, Bernshteyn said.

Coupa also pairs customers with sites like Amazon or Office Max, yet provides the ability to track data and therefore retain oversight as to what their employees are spending, Bernshteyn said.

“So it’s a very very wide range of goods and services that can be purchased … you have the controls that you would want in a company and we offer the visibility and the analysis and the insight so that a company could route the employees to the best source of those goods,” Bernshteyn said. “Over time, once these companies see how much money they’re spending with certain suppliers they’re put into a position to better negotiate discounts and end up saving money.”

Coupa estimates it’s saved its clients almost $2 billion, which is substantial for a company of its size, Bernshteyn said.

The company is rapidly expanding having gone from a handful of employees in 2009 to anticipating about 300 Coupa employees by the end of the year, Bernshteyn said.

As exciting as it’s been to take over the old Seibel offices, Coupa is keeping with the modern Silicon Valley company atmosphere. Bernshteyn said one of the first things he did was rip out the old cubicles, started painting the walls and brought in couches and ping-pong tables.

“We’re taking an environment that used to be very corporate and high strung and turning it into something that’s a place that people would feel comfortable being at at all times. … Where they can be authentic and they can be real,” Bernshteyn said.

Coupa started in San Mateo and is thrilled to remain after having found a great location that’s close to transit, the airport and right between San Francisco and Silicon Valley, Bernshteyn said.

“Personally, I can’t imagine a better place,” Bernshteyn said. “This is just, in my mind, the very center of technology and innovation in the entire world.”

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